Despite missing his graduation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Alistair Haddow celebrated the completion of his degree in Information Systems with his new innovation, a business product called Data Whale.
After registering at first for a Bachelor of Business Sciences degree, Haddow decided to change to a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) as the Information Systems course provided very practical solutions to issues that he was experiencing in his own freelance jobs.
“I had begun doing freelance work on Wix and Wordpress, creating simple websites, during high school. Following my introduction to computer science I decided to take my web development skills a step further. I took an online web development class through the online education site UDEMY at the end of my first year and Honey Whale was born,” says Haddow.
Honey Whale started off by building websites. The name came about because Haddow wanted a unique name for his digital business. “I loved how new digital agencies and ecommerce developers could invent a business and call it just about anything.” For him, Honey Whale stands for independent, highly skilled and highly focused.
Since completing his degree, he decided to shift Honey Whale’s focus from providing services to creating a digital product. This product was Data Whale, which provides daily performance reports, enabling small businesses to easily compare their performance to the same period from the previous year to measure growth.
“In our final IS year we were given the tools to create simple yet highly effective digital solutions. Now in our first year of trading full time, we have developed Data Whale.”
Combining full-time studies with his own business proved challenging.
“I would be juggling ecommerce clients around the world (USA/UK/RSA), digital advertising accounts, tutorials and course work. I brought in a partner, who was studying a Bachelor of IT at a college in JHB, and hired a freelance developer in Romania to help with workload.”
Remote working was a daily part of the business long before the lockdown.
Honey Whale was given Haddow’s growing small business the opportunity to host two Shopify Meetups, which are useful networking events.